Page's performance as Bliss, the Texan native trying to break out of her southern bell, debutant-infested hometown, is remarkable. Bliss' forbidden love of roller derby seems to be her one saving grace from her mother's expectations and insanity in a deadbeat town. Her meek and mild persona evolves into a sense of self-righteousness confidence by the end of the movie, which is incredibly empowering.
I found myself identifying and sympathizing with Bliss, whose mother was hard-nosed and hell-bent on molding her daughter into her personal ideal, a pageant queen. She looked down upon her daughter's adoration of roller derby, love of independent music, and tendency to don combat boots rather than stilettos. Although my mother has never attempted to force me into a ballgown, she has nonetheless criticized me for my interests and aspirations.
Eventually, Bliss and her mother come to a mutual understanding and acceptance of one another, something that I'm still anxiously crossing my fingers for. I loved this movie, not only for the excellent cast, but for the realism. Bliss could very well have been any average 17-year-old, yearning for an outlet of expression and acceptance. The relationships depicted in the film are so real and raw, yet leave you feeling empowered and ready to take on the world, one roller rink at a time.
"Be your own hero."